18th April 2013 - Reading: Christchurch Meadows and Hosehill Lake NR

Whilst waiting for Stuart to finish his meeting in Reading, I wandered around a little green area called Christchurch Meadows on the north bank of the Thames, just north of the station.  The first bird I spotted, before even getting there, was a gorgeous Great Crested Grebe sunning itself on the Thames.  I was hoping to get some good photos as the lighting was excellent, but when I got down to the riverside path, I realised on the other bank directly behind the Grebe was a man smoking.  I decided it was probably best not to look creepy and start taking photos... The next great looking bird was a Song Thrush, hopping around.  My first goslings (or goslets, if you take my method of any baby animal just being the parent with a 'let' - Sheeplet, Crowlet, Piglet...oh) of the year were being super cute, as is to be expected.  I just try not to think that they'll probably all be dead soon.  Sigh.  The final awesome bird of that walk was looking up to see a huge bird right above my head.  After mildly freaking out (it was VERY low), I realised it was a Red Kite.  Gorgeous.

Luckily, Stuart was done by then, as the rowers were now out in force and I was starting to look odd with my binos staring at the water.  We drove down to Theale GPs.  I should probably mention at this point that the reason I was in Reading was for the Pallas's Warbler.  Of course, despite having being there for 3 months, happily being seen by everyone, it decided to disappear about three days before I was due to go and look for it and of course, after I had booked and paid for my train ticket.  Typical.  Anyway, on to the Hosehill Lake at Theale.  The first thing we saw definitely made up for the Warbler as it was a life lister!  Hello Arctic Tern.  This was my 200th bird on my UK list.  Other birds around were a pair of Blackcap, a pair of Goldeneye and three Red-crested Pochard.

Trip list: 27
Year list: 145
Lifers of year list: 14

Song Thrush


My camera ran out of battery, so have a pretentious photo of my dinner instead.


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